The Season of Easter
Lutheran Service Book
The Resurrection of Our Lord (Easter Sunrise)
6On this mountain
the Lord of Armies will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food,
a banquet of aged wines,
with the best cuts of meat,
and with the finest wines.
7On this mountain
he will destroy the shroud that covers all peoples,
the burial cloth stretched over all nations.
8He has swallowed up death forever!
The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face.
He will take away the shame of his people throughout the earth.
For the Lord has spoken.
9On that day it will be said,
“Look, here is our God!
We waited for him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord!
We waited for him.
Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
10As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians marching after them. The Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12Wasn’t this what we said to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
13Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm, and see the salvation from the Lord, which he will perform for you today. For the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you. You must wait quietly.”
15The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to set out. 16As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide the sea so that the Israelites can go through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17I myself will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go into the sea after them, and I will gain glory through Pharaoh and his entire army, through his chariots and his charioteers. 18The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his charioteers.”
19Then the Angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. 20It went between the Egyptian forces and the Israelite forces. The cloud was dark on one side, but it lit up the night on the other. Neither group approached the other all night long.
21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all night long the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned the sea into dry land. The waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the middle of the sea on dry ground. The waters were like a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued them, and all of Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his charioteers went after them into the middle of the sea. 24During the last watch of the night, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud. Then he confused the Egyptian forces. 25He jammed their chariot wheels, and they had difficulty driving them. The Egyptians said, “We must flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, and the waters will come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their charioteers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal place. While the Egyptians were fleeing from it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the middle of the sea. 28The waters came back and covered the chariots and the charioteers, the entire army of Pharaoh that went into the sea after the Israelites. Not even one of them survived.
29But the Israelites went through the middle of the sea on dry land, and the waters were like a wall for them on their right and on their left. 30On that day the Lord saved Israel from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the mighty hand which the Lord put into action against the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.
15:1Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord. They said:
I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.
The horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Brothers, I am going to call your attention to the gospel that I preached to you. You received it, and you took your stand on it. 2You are also being saved by that gospel that was expressed in the words I preached to you, if you keep your hold on it—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
4that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
6After that he appeared to over five hundred brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, he appeared also to me, the stillborn child, so to speak. 9For I am the least of the apostles, and I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God’s church. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not ineffective. On the contrary, I worked more than all of them (and yet it wasn’t my doing, but it was the grace of God, which was with me, that did it). 11So whether it is I or they, that is what we preach, and that is what you believed.
1 Corinthians 15:12-25
12Now if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how is it that some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is pointless, and your faith is pointless too. 15Then we are even guilty of giving false testimony about God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if it were true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then it also follows that those who fell asleep in Christ perished. 19If our hope in Christ applies only to this life, we are the most pitiful people of all.
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came by a man, the resurrection of the dead also is going to come by a man. 22For as in Adam they all die, so also in Christ they all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ as the firstfruits and then Christ’s people, at his coming. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has done away with every other ruler and every other authority and power. 25For he must reign “until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2So she left and ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she told them, “and we don’t know where they put him!”
3So Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5Bending over, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in.
6Then Simon Peter, who was following him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there. 7The cloth that had been on Jesus’ head was not lying with the linen cloths, but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who arrived at the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.)
10Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, weeping. As she wept, she bent over, looking into the tomb. 12She saw two angels in white clothes sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. 13They asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She told them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.”
14After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus.
15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”
Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you carried him off, tell me where you laid him, and I will get him.”
16Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and replied in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means, “Teacher”).
17Jesus told her, “Do not continue to cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father—to my God and your God.’”
18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” She also told them the things he said to her.
The Resurrection of Our Lord (Easter Day)
23Oh how I wish that my words were written down.
Oh how I wish that they were inscribed in bronze,
24that they would be engraved in rock forever
with an iron tool and letters filled with lead.
25As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that at the end of time he will stand over the dust.
26Then, even after my skin has been destroyed,
nevertheless, in my own flesh I will see God.
27I myself will see him.
My own eyes will see him, and not as a stranger.
My emotions are in turmoil within me.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8
6Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7Purge out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened. For our Passover lamb has been sacrificed, namely, Christ! 8So let us keep celebrating the festival, not with old yeast, not with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57
51Look, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54But once this perishable body has put on imperishability, and this mortal body has put on immortality, then what is written will be fulfilled:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
55Death, where is your sting?
Grave, where is your victory?
56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could go and anoint Jesus. 2Very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3They were saying to each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb for us?” 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6He said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
8They went out and hurried away from the tomb, trembling and perplexed. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
The Second Sunday of Easter
The hand of the Lord was upon me. He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, which was full of bones. 2He had me pass through them and go all over among them. There were very many on the valley floor, and they were very dry.
3He said to me, “Son of man, can these dry bones live?” I answered, “Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ ”
5This is what the Lord God says to these bones.
I am about to make breath enter you so that you will live. 6I will attach tendons to you. I will put flesh back on you. I will cover you with skin and put breath in you, and you will live. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
7So I prophesied as I had been commanded, and as I was prophesying there was a noise, a rattling, as the bones came together, one bone connecting to another. 8As I watched, tendons were attached to them, then flesh grew over them, and skin covered them. But there was no breath in them.
9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the wind. Prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind that this is what the Lord God says. From the four winds, come, O wind, and breathe into these slain so that they may live.”
10So I prophesied as he commanded me. Breath entered them, and they came back to life. They stood on their feet, a very, very large army.
11Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They are saying, ‘Our bones are dried up. Our hope is lost. We have been completely cut off.’ 12Therefore, prophesy and say to them that this is what the Lord God says. My people, I am going to open your graves and raise you up from your graves and bring you back to the soil of Israel. 13Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live. I will settle you on your own land, and you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.”
1 John 5:4-10
4…because everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith. 5Who is the one who overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6This is the one who came by water and blood: Jesus Christ. He did not come by the water alone but by the water and by the blood. The Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7In fact, there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three are one.
9If we accept the testimony of people, God’s testimony is even greater, because it is the testimony that God gave about his Son. 10The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in him, but the one who does not believe has made God out to be a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God gave about his Son.
19On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” 22After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24But Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26After eight days, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe.”
28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30Jesus, in the presence of his disciples, did many other miraculous signs that are not written in this book. 31But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The Third Sunday of Easter
11For this is what the Lord God says. Here I am. I myself will seek the welfare of my flock and carefully search for them. 12As a shepherd searches for his flock when his sheep that were with him have been scattered, so I will search for my flock and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own soil. I will shepherd them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys, and in all the settlements of the land. 14I will lead them into good pasture, and their grazing land will be on the high mountains of Israel. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and they will pasture on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will shepherd my flock. I myself will let them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured. I will strengthen the weak. I will destroy the fat and the strong, and I will shepherd them with justice.
1 Peter 2:21-25
21Indeed, you were called to do this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you would follow in his steps. 22He did not commit a sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. 23When he was insulted, he did not insult in return. When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself carried our sins in his body on the tree so that we would be dead to sins and alive to righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25For you were like sheep going astray, but you are now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired man, who is not a shepherd, does not own the sheep. He sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13Because he works for money, he does not care about the sheep.
14“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me 15(just as the Father knows me and I know the Father). And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I also have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
The Fourth Sunday of Easter
25To whom can you compare me as if we were equals?
says the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and see who created these things.
See who brings out their army in great number
and calls them all by name.
Because of his great strength and mighty power,
not one of them is missing.
27Why do you speak, O Jacob?
O Israel, why do you say,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and justice for me is ignored by my God”?
28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the eternal God.
He is the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired, and he will not become weary.
No one can find a limit to his understanding.
29He is the one who gives strength to the weak,
and he increases the strength of those who lack power.
30Young men grow tired and become weary.
Even strong men stumble and fall.
31But those who wait for the Lord will receive new strength.
They will lift up their wings and soar like eagles.
They will run and not become weary.
They will walk and not become tired.
22By the mercies of the Lord we are not consumed, for his compassions do not fail.
23They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
24My soul says, “The Lord is my portion. Therefore, I will hope in him.”
25The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
26It is good to hope quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
27It is good for a man that he bears a yoke early in his life.
28Let him sit alone and be silent, because the Lord has laid this upon him.
29Let him stick his face in the dust. Perhaps there still is hope.
30Let him turn his cheek toward the one who strikes him. Let him be filled with disgrace.
31For the Lord will not push us away forever.
32Even though he brings grief, he will show compassion on the basis of his great mercy.
33Certainly it is not what his heart desires when he causes affliction,
when he brings grief to the children of men.
1 Peter 2:11-20
11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and temporary residents in the world, to abstain from the desires of the sinful flesh, which war against your soul. 12Live an honorable life among the Gentiles so that even though they slander you as evildoers, when they observe your noble deeds, they may glorify God on the day he visits us.
13Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the king as the supreme authority 14or to governors as those who have been sent by him to punish those who do what is wrong and to praise those who do what is right. 15For this is God’s will: that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16Do this as free people, and do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but use it as servants of God. 17Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
18Slaves, submit to your masters with total respect, not only to those who are good and kind but also to those who are harsh. 19For this is favorable: if a person endures sorrows while suffering unjustly because he is conscious of God. 20For what credit is it to you if you receive a beating for sinning and patiently endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is favorable with God.
1 John 3:1-3
See the kind of love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are! The world does not know us, because it did not know him. 2Dear friends, we are children of God now, but what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he is revealed we will be like him, and we will see him as he really is. 3Everyone who has this hope purifies himself just as Jesus is pure.
16“In a little while you are not going to see me anymore, and again in a little while you will see me, because I am going away to the Father.”
17Therefore some of his disciples asked one another, “What does he mean when he tells us, ‘In a little while you are not going to see me, and again in a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going away to the Father’?” 18So they kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he’s saying.”
19Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you trying to determine with one another what I meant by saying, ‘In a little while you are not going to see me, and again in a little while you will see me’? 20Amen, Amen, I tell you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. 21A woman giving birth has pain, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of her joy that a person has been born into the world.
22“So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”
The Fifth Sunday of Easter
In that day you will say:
I will give thanks to you, Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away,
and you comfort me.
2Surely God is my salvation.
I will trust him and will not be afraid,
because Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song,
and he has become my salvation.
3Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4In that day you will say:
Give thanks to the Lord! Proclaim his name.
Declare among the peoples what he has done.
Proclaim that his name is exalted!
5Sing to the Lord, for he has done amazing things!
Let this be known in all the earth!
6Shout aloud and sing for joy, daughter of Zion,
for the Holy One of Israel is great among you!
16Do not be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, who does not change or shift like a shadow. 18Just as he planned, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creations.
19Remember this, my dear brothers: Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. 20Certainly, a man’s anger does not bring about what is right before God. 21So after getting rid of all moral filthiness and overflowing wickedness, receive with humility the word planted in you. It is able to save your souls.
5“But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Yet because I have told you these things, sorrow has filled your heart. 7Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth: It is good for you that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment: 9about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
12“I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own, but whatever he hears he will speak. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 15Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I said that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.”
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
4They set out from Mount Hor along the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom, but the people became very impatient along the way. 5The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? Look, there is no food! There is no water! And we are disgusted by this worthless food!”
6The Lord sent venomous snakes among the people, and the snakes bit the people. As a result many people from Israel died. 7The people went to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord to take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed on behalf of the people.
8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a venomous snake and put it on a pole. If anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live.” 9Moses made a bronze snake and put it on the pole. If a snake had bitten anyone, if that person looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
1 Timothy 2:1-6
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all those who are in authority, in order that we might live a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
22Be people who do what the word says, not people who only hear it. Such people are deceiving themselves. 23In fact, if anyone hears the word and does not do what it says, he is like a man who carefully looks at his own natural face in a mirror. 24Indeed, he carefully looks at himself; then, he goes away and immediately forgets what he looked like. 25But the one who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues to do so—since he does not hear and forget but actually does what it says—that person will be blessed in what he does.
26If anyone considers himself to be religious but deceives his own heart because he does not bridle his tongue, this person’s religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled in the sight of God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
John 16:23-30 (31-33)
23“In that day you will not ask me anything. Amen, Amen, I tell you: Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be made complete.
25“I have told you these things using figurative language. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you using figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will make requests of the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am going to leave the world and go to the Father.”
29“Yes!” his disciples said. “Now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative language. 30Now we know that you know everything and do not need to have anyone ask you anything. For this reason we believe that you came from God.”
31Jesus answered them, “Now do you believe? 32Listen, a time is coming, in fact it is here, when you will be scattered, everyone to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not going to be alone, because the Father is with me. 33I have told you these things, so that you may have peace in me. In this world you are going to have trouble. But be courageous! I have overcome the world.”
The Ascension of Our Lord
2 Kings 2:5–15
5Then the sons of the prophets who were in Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord is taking your master away from you?”
He said, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here because the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”
But he said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.
7Then fifty men from the sons of the prophets came and stood and watched them from a distance, while the two of them were standing at the Jordan. 8Elijah took his cloak, folded it together, and struck the water. The water divided to the right and to the left. Then the two of them crossed on dry land.
9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask me for whatever I can do for you before I am taken from you.”
Then Elisha said, “Let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”
10He said, “You have asked for a difficult thing. If you see me being taken from you, it will surely be yours. But if not, then it will not.”
11While they were walking and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire came and separated them. So Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12Elisha was watching and crying out, “My father! My father! Israel’s chariot and its charioteers!” Then he did not see him anymore. He grabbed his clothing, and he ripped it into two pieces.
13Then he picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen from him. He returned and stood at the edge of the Jordan. 14He took Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen from him, and he struck the water and said, “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah? Yes, where is he?” As soon as he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left so that Elisha could cross.
15When the sons of the prophets, who were watching him from Jericho, saw this, they said, “Elijah’s spirit is resting on Elisha.” They went to meet him and bowed down to the ground in front of him.
I wrote my first book, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began doing and teaching 2until the day he was taken up, after he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After he had suffered, he presented himself alive to the apostles with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and told them things about the kingdom of God.
4Once, when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what the Father promised, which you heard from me. 5For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6So when they were together with him, they asked, “Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9After he said these things, he was taken up while they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10They were looking intently into the sky as he went away. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood beside them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
14Later, he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17“These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons. They will speak in new languages. 18They will pick up snakes. And if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them. They will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.”
19Then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
20Those who went out preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
44He said to them, “These are my words, which I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.”
45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46He said to them, “This is what is written and so it must be: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49Look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50He led them out as far as the vicinity of Bethany. He lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51And while he was blessing them, he parted from them and was taken up into heaven. 52So they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53They were continually in the temple courts, praising and blessing God. Amen.
The Seventh Sunday of Easter
22Therefore, say this to the house of Israel. This is what the Lord God says. I am about to act, O house of Israel, not for your sake, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you have gone. 23I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when I reveal myself as holy in front of their eyes through you. 24I will take you from among the nations. I will gather you from all the lands, and I will bring you to your own soil. 25I will sprinkle purifying water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurity and from all your filthy idols.
26Then I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put my Spirit within you and will cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will carefully observe my ordinances. 28Then you will live in the land I gave your fathers. You will be my people, and I will be your God.
1 Peter 4:7-11 (12-14)
7The end of all things is near. So have sound judgment and be self-controlled for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, love each other constantly, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
10Serve one another, each according to the gift he has received, as good stewards of the many forms of God’s grace. 11If anyone speaks, let him do it as one speaking the messages of God. If anyone serves, let him do it as one serving with the strength God supplies so that God may be glorified in every way through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
12Dear friends, do not be surprised by the fiery trial that is happening among you to test you, as if something strange were happening to you. 13Instead rejoice whenever you are sharing in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
14If you are insulted in connection with the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
26“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me. 27And you also are going to testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
16:1“I have told you these things so that you will not fall away. 2They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who murders you will think he is offering a service to God. 3They will do these things because they have not known the Father or me. 4But I have told you these things so that when their time comes, you may remember that I told them to you. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.”
The Day of Pentecost
The whole earth had one language and a single vocabulary. As people traveled in the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they settled there. 3They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used mud brick instead of stone for building material, and they used tar for mortar. 4They said, “Come, let’s build a city for ourselves and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let’s make a name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
5The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people were building. 6The Lord said, “If this is the first thing they are doing as one people, who all have one language, then nothing that they intend to do will be too difficult for them. 7Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language, so that they cannot understand one another’s speech.”
8So the Lord scattered them from there over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. 9It was named Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the rushing of a violent wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw divided tongues that were like fire resting on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, since the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak fluently.
5Now there were godly Jewish men from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6When this sound was heard, a crowd came together and was confused, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7They were completely baffled and said to each other, “Look, are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them speaking in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, and of Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya around Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; 11Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own languages the wonderful works of God.” 12They were all amazed and perplexed. They kept saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others mocked them and said, “They are full of new wine.”
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and spoke loudly and clearly to them: “Men of Judea, and all you residents of Jerusalem, understand this, and listen closely to my words. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day. 16On the contrary, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17This is what God says will happen in the last days:
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions.
Your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19I will show wonders in the sky above,
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and a rising cloud of smoke.
20The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21And this will happen: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
23Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will hold on to my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24The one who does not love me does not hold on to my words. The word that you are hearing is not mine, but it is from the Father who sent me.
25“I have told you these things while staying with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I told you.
27“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let it be afraid. 28You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.
29“I have told you now before it happens so that, when it does happen, you may believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me. 31But I want the world to know that I love the Father and that I am doing exactly what the Father has instructed me.
“Get up. Let’s leave this place.”